One of these books is a brilliant conclusion to a brilliant series. The author did what she does best and wrote a book every one of her fans will love. I devoured every page.
The other book is a complete departure from what the author normally writes. I pretty much hated it, and even though I'm the sort of reader who ALWAYS finishes what I start, I couldn't plow through this one. I knew it would be different from what she'd written before, but it was TOO different for me.
A few years ago I went to a workshop about building a successful writing career. The author talked about how she' never been able to stick with a genre. She'd bounced all over from children's books to adult literary fiction. She sold them all to different publishers and thought she was doing pretty well. She loved each book and was excited to see all of them find places on bookstore shelves.
She said it was a terrible career move. The fans of one book didn't like (or didn't read) the others. So even though she had multiple books out, none did very well.
I've toyed with writing different genres. I normally write contemporary MG, but I've tried fantasy too. I have a dystopian YA that I think is kind of good. I once dreamed of writing adults literary fiction.
There are a few authors who are successful in more than one genre--like Shannon Hale and Neil Gaiman. But I think it's hard to do well.
Do you write in one genre or many? Will you stick to a genre after you have a book or two published?